Wednesday, April 04, 2007

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 meme and 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 blast off

Not that I am very tizzy-prone, but I'd have to say that today, I'm definitely leaning in that direction. The Little One and I are off to the US tonight for a three-week visit with Grandma and Grandpa, and I have stocked up on a variety of coloring and sticker books, play-doh (Delta Airlines, please forgive me in advance for the mess...), crayons, puzzles and books for our journey, which will take a hair-raising twenty hours or so door-to-door. We will have personal seat-back monitors, and with any luck, he'll sleep for at least half of the first 13-hour leg of the trip. If there's any additional luck to be had (not to mention complimentary alcoholic beverages, though I will pay if necessary), perhaps I'll even manage to get a decent amount of sleep as well. I'm still debating whether or not to take our stroller, mostly for use in the airports when the Little One will either be sleeping or will want to be picked up (which happens with increasing frequency these days), as well as for some of our longer days out during the visit. The disadvantage will raise its ugly head during those moments when he'll want to walk and then tries to run off while I'm saddled with the stroller and a knapsack. Your thoughts and advice are definitely welcome...

I'll try to blog during the trip, but I'm not sure how much time I'll have. 80s Music Video Sunday entries will be posted later in the day due to the time difference, but they will be posted.


As I don't really have either the time or the energy for a "real" post, I'm going to hit you all with a meme. I've been tagged by The Armenian Odar, a Dutch expat living in – where else – Armenia. Check out her blog, folks, and get a chance to learn about life in a country that isn't on the radar for most.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Meme

Name five things you love in your new country:

  1. The way that everyone lives life to the fullest.
  2. The coffee (you can get great coffee virtually anywhere!).
  3. The beautiful scenery, from snow and lush greenery in the north to desert landscapes in the south.
  4. The complex quirkiness of the people!
  5. The wide variety of foods that are available – everything from sushi to jachnun!

Name four things that you miss from your native country.

  1. My family and friends.
  2. Autumn foliage.
  3. Trousers and jeans that come in "petite" sizes. Whenever I buy these items here (which is rare), I always have to get them fixed. How annoying is that? And it's not like I'm really short – I'm 5'2"/158 cm tall.
  4. Shallow pleasantries and good manners. Call me pathetic, but I like it when salespeople tell me to have a nice day or ask how I'm doing today.

Name three things that annoy you a bit (or much) in your new country:

  1. Israeli drivers suck big time! Being on the road here is like being in a war, and every other car an enemy that must be humbled and/or destroyed. It's gotten so bad lately that there's even an ad campaign where careless drivers are branded terrorists.
  2. The lack of environmental awareness vis a vis garbage. Children are practically born knowing that picking wild flowers is a serious no-no, but no one will think twice if you toss your garbage around the unpicked wild flowers.
  3. The government and the sorry state of the educational system. Need I say more?

Name two things that surprise you (or surprised you in the beginning) in your new country:

  1. The lack of education regarding environmental awareness (see number 2 in the previous section). I don't understand how Israelis can be so enthralled with nature on the one hand, yet have no problems whatsoever about ruining it with garbage.
  2. The extent to which people seem to think that rules don't apply to them, whether they be rules of the road, legal issues, etc. There's a big problem with sexual harassment here, and I'm constantly in awe of the fact that it is so prevalent at so many different levels in both civilian and military life.

Name one thing that you would miss terribly in your new country, if you had to leave it:

  1. My friends.


Stefanella, who's always up for a good meme.

Beth, whose answers will inevitably entertaining.

Anglosaxy, since (a) these kinds of questions are right up his alley, and (b) I just like tagging him.

NRG, whose life has always run on a course parallel to mine (answer in the Comments Section, please).

Life Out East, who should have some interesting responses, given that he's moving back home shortly.


Wish me luck on the journey tonight. God knows I'm gonna need it...


Life Out East said...

Re the stroller question. We ditched ours when the daughter was one year old. The wife wanted to keep it but I couldn't stand the thing. Most of the time I carried her and when she started walking I encouraged her to walk. I wouldn't even entertain the idea of taking one of the dreaded things abroad.

As a side thought it's been proved that prolonged use of strollers causes back problems for the child and leads to a lack of bonding - gained by the more natural method of carrying the child. Sadly the effects of carrying the child lead to back problems for the parent - ouchh.

I've never done one of these meme things but I will have a go and use the one you have just posted.

Your weekly videos could be a thing of the past for me whilst I'm here in Thailand as the government has managed to get blocked here. Arghh, the rancid stench of censorship.

Have a great time back in the States.

tafka PP said...

Have a fantastic time!!! (I'm jealous...)

- and, great answers

nrg said...

ok... let's see... I've never been tagged publicly like this before...
5 things I love in my new country:
1) The landscape: fjord og fjell (fjords and mountains, the contrast is fantastic, the power of nature is very 'real' here)
2) The fact that my children can have a childhood similar to the one I had in the states 30 years ago (can safely eat the candy they get on Halloween, can run around the neighborhood after dark, walk 2 miles home from school, etc)
3) Vacation is sacred. No one would ever brag about not having taken their vacation here, as can happen in the US. All 5 weeks are to be used and enjoyed!!
4) Maternity leave... need I say more. Family values isn't just an empty phrase here, they back it up.
5) My family and friends

4 things I miss about my old country:

1) petite sizes.... without question. I'm 2 cm shorter than Liza...
2) Stores open on Sundays
3) cheap gas (we are up around $8/gallon, so stop complaining!!)
4) family and friends

3 things that annoy me a bit about my new country

1) littering: esp. young teens who think it's their right and that 'people' are paid to clean up after them
2) the difficulties the natives have opening up and letting people in. Once you get there, it's fantastic, but it's not always easy for a new comer. Noone in our neighborhood really said hello until we'd lived here for over a year...some hadn't even noticed the house changed hands
3) the apparent inability to pick up dog poop... but: there is hope, all dogs will be required to have DNA tests in the future and poop left on sidewalks will be tested and owners of said dog fined. It's about time.

2 things that surprised me about my new country:

1) that a country with a national religion could be so non-religious
2) That road systems could be so poorly planned. Projects to improve highways are done to the need that existed 5 years ago. They need to expand before they are even finished. Who runs this show???

OK, that's my bit.

By the way:
New country: Norway
Old country: US

Benji Lovitt said...

Nesiya tovah!

Anonymous said...

Have a great time in the States! And try to tear yourself away from Talbots... ;)

lisoosh said...

Aaargh, missed you. Take the stroller. Seriously, take the stroller - best thing in the airport with bags and a sleepy/cranky kid. Plus, just buckle him in to stop him from running off in the crowds. Double plus you can hang your hand luggage off of it.
Triple plus, he is THREE, carrying him will be a serious effort.

RR said...

Hope the trip went well- and that you decided to take the stroller!!!

Nu, how much did you spend on in-flight booze? :-)

Arik said...

I guess it is too late for a stroller tip now.

Another thing: "...The complex quirkiness of the people..." ?!?! :)

Have fun!